By MWANGALA LISELI –
KENYA’S Jaspeert Chatthe yesterday took over leadership of the Automotive Equipment 2015 Zambia International Motor Rally after finishing Day Two four minutes ahead of Zambia’s Mohammed Essa.
Chatthe, who is leading the African Rally Championship (ARC), dominated the race winning the hearts of the crowds that thronged the Graham Rae Farm in Chisamba to dethrone Jassy Singh, who had enjoyed Day One lead.
The Kenyan driver driving a Mitsubishi Evo powered home an hour 49 minutes and seven seconds ahead of former African and Zambian champion Essa, who clocked one hour 53 minutes and 11 seconds.
Essa, who is using the newly acquired Subaru Impreza N14 bought from Kenyan driver Tajvir Rai, said the rally turned out to be a little bit of a challenge as his vehicle was overheating.
“We had a challenge with the car as it was overheating but we hope to continue and win the rally,” said Essa, who is taking part in his first rally this year after going into a break.
Reigning national champion Jassy Singh surrendered his leadership to Chatthe as he slipped to third after clocking one hour 54 minutes and 10 seconds.
“Well it was a good race, so far so good, it was too sandy and thus making it difficult for us but we shall see how we end up tomorrow (today). Hoping to win and get the maximum points for the ARC,” Jassy said.
Muna Singh Junior put up a good show for the fans as he clocked one hour 56 minutes and two seconds was followed by Miles Monje in fifth position who hit one hour 57 minutes and four seconds while Zubair Essa timed two hours nine minutes and 15 seconds.
Meanwhile, Farook Ticklay retired after his Subaru Impreza developed an engine failure.
A dejected Farook said he was disappointed as he was looking forward to finishing the rally.